To the Goddess named --- Venus (and Ceres)

Where the satyrs are chattering, nymphs in their flattering
Glimpse of the forest enhance
All the beauty of marrow and cucumber narrow
And Ceres will join in the dance.
Where the satyrs can flatter the flat-leaved fruit
And the gherkin green and the marrow,
Said Queen Venus, 'Silenus, we'll settle between us
The gourd and the cucumber narrow.'
See, like palaces hid in the lake, they shake --
Those green houses shot by Her arrow narrow!
The gardener seizes the pieces like Croesus for gilding the
potting-shed barrow.
There the radish roots
And the strawberry fruits
Feel the nymphs' high boots in the glade.
Trampling and sampling mazurkas, cachucas and turkas,
Cracoviaks hid in the shade.
Where in the haycocks the country nymphs' gay flocks
Wear gowns that are looped over bright yellow petticoats,
Gaiters of leather and pheasants' tail feathers
In straw hats bewildering many a leathern bat.
There they haymake
Cowers and whines in showers
The dew in the dogskin bright flowers;
Pumpkin and marrow
And cucumber narrow
Have grown through the spangled June hours.
Melons as dark as caves have for their fountain waves
Thickest gold honey. And wrinkled as dark as Pan
Or old Silenus, yet youthful as Venus
Are gourds and the wrinkled figs
Whence all the jewels ran.
Said Queen Venus, 'Silenus,
We'll settle between us
The nymphs' disobedience, forestall
With my bow and my quiver
Each fresh evil liver:
For I don't understand it at all!'

Tarantella from "Façade" by Edith Sitwell

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